ONE ON ONE: ABC13 talks about new changes with HISD's interim superintendent

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dr. Grenita Lathan is taking charge as the interim superintendent of the fourth largest school district in the country.

"I initially started out wanting to be a teacher or a social worker, and also a principal," Lathan said.

After three years as the district chief academic officer, Lathan says she wants to bring a new energy to Houston ISD.

"Your job should be fun, and I want principals learning," Lathan explained. "Learning should be fun."

But things haven't been all fun. Lathan has had to make tough decisions and face unique challenges within her first few weeks on the job.

Lathan told Eyewitness News that she had to find a way to bounce back from Hurricane Harvey, avoid a state takeover and get multiple schools back on track.

"We have removed some leaders and put new leaders in place. There has been teacher changes. There are additional support staff added. For example, this year we're adding a data specialist," said Lathan.

The data specialist will go into struggling schools to help administration better understand the students and their challenges. They will also use data to help develop new strategies and make suggestions on teachers curriculum.

"We're making sure that the schools, teachers, principals and students have everything they need," Lathan explained.

HISD is also adding a full-time nurse, social worker and counselor.
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